Toddler Practice Blouse

12:50 AM

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Planning to make a few blouses for Ellie for fall, this pink top was the muslin or practice.
I know a true "muslin" is usually made with, well, muslin and you baste the main seams to see the bodice and shoulders fit and then move on to real fabric.
But even that minimal investment seems like a waste.  So I've always used fabric for my practice garments, so in the end (if they're not disasters) the cutting, sewing, and fabric doesn't go to waste and I still end up with something to wear.  Most of the time the fabric I use will cost less than buying muslin anyway.


So this little top originally was going to be a peasant type blouse, but I realized I don't like the gathered elastic neckline much and didn't want to deal with raglan sleeves.
So it's a basic blouse using a t-shirt for the pattern.
Because it would be from non-stretch fabric, I added the center front placket to allow it to go over the head.  The neck also has a small, slightly gathered ruffle.
The long sleeves have 3 little rows of shirring (elastic thread in bobbin) to gather it again with a slight ruffle at the wrist.

The fabric is a poly chiffon, not the easiest fabric to work with, especially just for a practice top, but it turned out not being that big of a pain.
Here's a good post on other tips for sewing with chiffon/ light fabrics.
I find that using regular spray and iron laundry starch to stiffen each piece once it's cut out really helps sewing it together and makes it less slinky--easier to work with.
Also I found the tip of putting a small piece of masking tape over the hole the needle goes through helps prevent the beginning of a seam getting sucked down into the bobbin.
A sharp or fine needle also helps prevent the needle snagging the fabric.

So to sew the placket, I just starched the crap out of it and didn't need to sew it with any reinforcing on the back or anything, then after it was washed, the fabric was back to the regular flowy, softness.

So I did change a few things, the placket was too deep, making the head hole plenty big to let her head through, so I plan to make it shorter.
The back was a little too wide, and a few more small adjustments here and there.

So a practice that turned out to be wearable, and a nice little top to help transition from summer to fall.  We went to the fair last weekend and she had the long sleeves to protect from the sun but it was still breezy and light.

On to the real blouse!

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11 comments

  1. I follow your blog through google reader so I have seen a lot of pictures of your daughter (which is good). She is just one of the most adorably pleasing children I've seen. You can tell she is a thinker and a wonderful model. What a cutie pie!

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  2. This is such a great little shirt, I love how it came together, very baby Banana Republic... if there was such a thing :)

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  3. What a cute shirt!!!! She looks adorable in it.

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  4. I *love* that blouse. I have been trying to think of ways to make my baby daughter shirts that aren't made of knit and I hadn't thought of a simple split placket. I will definitely have to make her a shirt like this. You really make some of the cutest baby/toddler clothes out there (for girls and boys)!

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  5. I love this girl. She looks cute in pink.

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  6. so cute! it never occurred to me to use chiffon in kidswear, but this is perfect!

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  7. This is so cute! I love it when the practice garment turns out so beautifully.

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  8. One of the cutest muslins I've ever seen!

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  9. That is really cute. I have a daughter just a month or two younger than yours and it is fun to get ideas from you. I don't think I've ever commented, but I just wanted to say good job and thanks for sharing your ideas with us all!
    -Jill

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  10. I think that this is fantastic for a 'practice' run! It's adorable!

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  11. So cute! I may have to adapt this idea for a simple top for my boy. An applique on the body would jazz up a plain colored top made this way.

    Also, I was thinking that if the placket is too floppy, you could sew a square at the bottom of it to effectively shorten it a bit and help it to stand better. I've seen that on other items...

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